After a wetter than usual winter and cooler than usual spring, we are about to enter into a summer that promises to be warmer than usual. And, with all the growth of grass, weeds, and brush that comes from the extra rain, there is a significant prospect of summer and fall wild fires.
Unfortunately, the El Cerrito Library cannot serve as either a cooling station on especially hot days or as a clean air respite location in the case of smoky days because it does not have an air conditioning system nor are the windows and doors well enough weatherized to keep severe smoke out of the building. (Sadly, some of the windows are so old they do not even close properly.)
So, when conditions become extremely hot or the air smoky from wild fires, our library has to close rather than continue to serve the needs of our community. Under such difficult conditions staying open would not be safe for either patrons or staff.
In most of the other communities of Contra Costa County the local library becomes an important resource to help residents cope with difficult weather conditions. Not in El Cerrito.
When a new library is built in El Cerrito that new building will become a community resource for clean air and cooling for all residents when they need access to healthy conditions.
Fortunately our City Council, the Friends of the El Cerrito Library, our Library Foundation and many enthusiastic Library supporters are working to bring about a healthier community by advocating for a new 21st century library of adequate size and modern amenities to adequately serve El Cerrito residents.